Friday, 31 January 2014

Trialling new #skis in beautiful #Megeve

Wow, what a wonderful day. Great snow, good company and new skis to try out. My sister and I tried a pair of Scott Maya skis. They were fine on-piste and off but no real va va voom. So back to the drawing board. It's been 12 years or possibly more since I bought some skis so I do want to get it right. Tomorrow we try some Atomic Cloud 8's. The problem I may be that really I need an on-piste and off-piste set. Or as I learnt today, a quiver of skis! I wish. Anyway, here are some pics of the view at Jaillet which was wonderful and the off-piste is still fluffy and light despite the fact that it hasn't snowed for a few days! The we caught the new green caleche horse drawn ski lift back. Very picturesque and charming and free on your lift pass. More snow due tomorrow so looking good. We still have space w/c 9th and 23rd Feb so get out here and enjoy the great conditions.

Monday, 27 January 2014

#Megeve skiing

Yesterday and today we skied with 2 American friends of a friend, Liz and Steve, from Aspen.   Gordon was leading us astray as usual.   Yesterday we skied on Mont D'Arbois, mostly off piste.  We skied down to the road to Chatterix where we were picked up by Carol and a friend and taken to Communailles.  We had lunch at the Alpage and then skied home.
Today we went over to Jaillet.  We had had some fresh snow overnight but on the top it was wind blown and difficult.   We skied over the back to Praz Sur Arly where again we were picked up and taken off to lunch.   I was having a crisis of confidence and falling over so packed it in after lunch.  Tomorrow we go home to look after the grandchildren whilst the girls and their husbands come skiing.  They are staying at the Rond Point.  I have already arranged several games of tennis.  Back in a week!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

New experiences

Ever tried skiing on leaf mould?  Well, you can and it's better than tree roots.  Today we went back to Jaillet and skied down through the trees to the road, where we picked up the bus.  However, Gordon decided to avoid the nasty path by pioneering a route down a steep bank - hence the leaf mould.  And if you're the one coming last there is precious little snow left on a steep bank.
Afterwards Gordon went home and John and I took the bus up to Rochebrune and skied down the Emil Allais.  This goes past the Forestiere restaurant and is the old World Cup Men's Downhill.  I believe it was abandoned because it was too dangerous.   The first part had been skied and was chopped up which made it tricky.  It is also quite narrow as you skirt round under the cliffs below Alpette.  But then it opened out and we had a magnificent ski down to the bus stop.  John delayed coming down the last pitch until the bus had come along the road.   Sadly, the only audience consisted of the bus driver who looked very bored and refused to drop us off where was most convenient so I had to lug my skis though town.
John forgot to take the camera so sorry no pics today.
More snow is forecast for tonight so we might just have to get the first lift up.  Who would have thought as OAPS we would be  spending our retirement so disgracefully?  You ought to try it.  

Friday, 24 January 2014


It's been a funny week this week.   Monday and Tuesday was thick cloud and no visibility.  We took Monday off but skied Tuesday and found some powder through the trees.  We had a fun morning.  Wednesday dawned sunny and cold and was a brilliant day.  Thursday - back to cloud.  We skied for 2 hours and then went to IKEA - what an exciting life we lead!

Today was 25cms of new snow and though it started cloudy the sun came out and was one of the best day's skiing so far this season.   We went over to Jaillet and skied off piste down the field facing Megeve - someone had to be first! Then to Giettaz and then down the back to Praz Sur Arly.  It involved a fair amount of walking carrying skis, walking on skis, jumping or falling into streams and generally enjoying ourselves.

When we got to the bottom a mountain guide from  #Megeve whom we know, was sussing out the route as he was skiing with clients that afternoon.  I think we had the best of it this morning.  Carol came and picked us up which was great.  Gordon went up again but by that time John and I were exhausted.  There is more snow forecast so maybe we'll get some more off piste.  Here is a short clip of Gordon and myself  skiing down to Giettaz.   Why not book a short break and ski it yourself?

Monday, 20 January 2014

Lazy day today

We are having a day off from skiing today as our knees are protesting from skiing too much powder!   Anyway, the cloud was down this morning so no visibility though it's now snowing so we'll be out tomorrow.      #Megeve is still snow covered and the tree outside our window is turning white - very encouraging.   I have spent the morning varnishing the woodwork in our apartment.   We have had it completely remodelled but Andy did not have time to varnish the wood work so that's my job.  Nearly finished - just the pelmets to do.  It's a huge improvement.   We had 12 friends for supper on Saturday and managed to squash everybody in, but the real joy is I now have a proper kitchen.  For those of you who remember Hannah Payne who worked at the Sylvana with Vicky (and her sister, Sarah, is now working at the RP), she is out for a short break with her father Stuart and boyfriend Matt.  Yesterday was busy on the slopes but there was snow and sunshine and all the locals had come out to play.  Sunny Sundays, New Year and the Paris fortnight are the only times when Megeve is really busy, and even then you  don't usually wait more than 5 minutes for a lift.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Friday in #Megeve

We skied the Mon Rosset field on Monday and noone else had been down it until we skied it yesterday and today.  This is me skiing yesterday.  I have a video of John but he hasn't downloaded it yet.  Rob and Elspeth Pinckney are out on a short break so we skied with them this morning.   They went down the piste and we found the off piste.   For once, I failed to fall into the stream at the bottom of the Mon Rosset field.  We skied the off piste on Mont Joli, which had been fairly well skied but there was still plenty of powder.  We tried to do it on Wednesday with Jonny but the shoebox had a technical fault so we couldn't get over there.  Instead we played around at Cote 2000 and had a lovely time. It has been a great week's skiing and more snow is forecast for Sunday.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


We woke up this morning to 30/40 cms of fresh snow.  John and I were the first down the red and black Princess pistes which had been groomed the night before but were fantastic with the fresh snow.   Then we went and explored some of the off piste fields.  John had to go off to Bonneville to the Prefecture so I skied with Jonny, Anthony (a guest) and some of the staff who we bumped into.   It was snowing first thing but cleared later to a nice afternoon.   It was a great day's skiing.  Sadly, neither John nor Jonny remembered their cameras!  We bumped into Alex Perrinet (mountain guide who we ski with when he is not busy which is usually never) at Communailles when John and I were making a meal and a half of the off piste.   Why do you always ski at your worst when someone else is watching?

Sunday, 12 January 2014

#Megeve Hot Air Balloons

I went over to Jaillet today to finish my restaurant guide.  I have to finish Mont D'Arbois and Rochebrune mountain restaurants, though I have done most of them.  I look to see if they have changed hands, gone up market and compare prices with last year's.   Most have increased slightly this year.  When I have finished it will go up on the website.  I have been side tracked this year by family and friends being out, so I have concentrated on skiing and not doing my job!  When I got out of the bubble there were 10 hot air balloons in the sky.  It was a beautiful sunny day, clear blue sky and no wind.  Ideal conditions.  They take off from Praz Sur Arly but as I have not taken a trip I do not know where they land.   Two years ago there was a race (I assume) from Flaine to Praz by balloon.   We first of all saw all the cars with the trailers to pack the balloons in.   Then we noticed them coming in to land.  One landed on a side road completely blocking it, but was obviously aiming for a field where 3 had already touched down,  It was very interesting to see with what skill the pilots landed them, all in a neat row by the side of the road.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Staff Lunch

We had our post Christmas Stanford Skiing staff lunch yesterday.   We had it at Ernestine's which is on the blue run, Clementines, down to the Croix de Christ chair.  Everyone made it, even little Emma who had not been on a blue run until this week.  It was a fun lunch and afterwards everyone skied together for a couple of runs before splitting up.   You can't see, but I have a very elegant scratched nose as a result of skiing off the edge of the piste in flat light.  Today we skied with Phil and Becks who have gone home today.  We had a hot chocolate at the Chalet des Grands Pres which is just off to the left of the Marmire run which goes down to the Mon Rosset chair.   It was one of the best hot chocolates I have had recently.  It is an old French farmhouse and nicely done up with a wood burning stove.  The menu is limited but if you like omelettes, fondue or salad you could do worse.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Snow-shoeing with Gordon

We had an offpiste day planned with Alex Perrinet (mountain guide in #Megeve) but it was cancelled as the snow was not good enough and it was dangerous.   Gordon and I decided to do something different - you can do that when you're here all  season! and got the snow shoes out.   John had a transfer in the morning so he couldn't come with us, but he drove us up to the beginning of the path.  We walked up towards Christomet on Jaillet, coming out at the Auberge Du Christomet.   That has had a face lift which I think is a disaster.  There is a new outside seating area and bar where the little swimming pool used to be.   It looks very expensive and very empty.  Just next door to it is a snack bar caravan where the sandwiches cost 5 euros.  There is seating there under a canopy.  We walked up under the chair that goes up to Combloux, eventually coming out at the top of the Jaillet cabin.  By that time we were both feeling tired (it seems much harder to walk in snow shoes) so got the cabin down.  It was a lovely tramp.  The paths are well sign posted and it is nice to try something different.

Monday, 6 January 2014

skiing with Gordon

What an exhausting day!   Rendezvous was 9 am at the Chamois lift, then over to Mont D'Arbois where we did 3 off piste runs and were met by Jonny (resort manager in  #Megeve) at Bettex.  By that time we had already forded streams (I had to take my skis off at one)  walked up a piste du fond track carrying skis and skied through the forest.   Our best run was down to St Nicholas to pick up the facilly bus.   When it didn't arrive we walked up hill in ski boots carrying skis for about a mile to the lift where we discovered we were a month too early.  It starts February 9th!   Tant pis comme le francais dit!  The consolation was that we met Phil and Becks (driver/handyman and chef for 2 seasons at the Rond Point 4-5 years ago) and had lunch at the Gouet.   We left Jonny and Gordon to ski home off piste.   John  and I were exhausted, the light had gone and the snow was heavy.
Elizabeth will be pleased to learn that I have now nearly finished all the dirty ski laundry that she left when she went home yesterday.  What are mothers for?

Sunday, 5 January 2014

#Megeve Sunday skiing

John and I bumped into our grandchildren and their father on #Rochebrune (Elizabeth had offered to help with cleaning rooms).  So we had an hour's fun with them in the snow before they had to go to Geneva airport and home.  This is Emily and Tommy (10 and 6) coming down the Mouillettes variant with me behind.   Afterwards I met up with Gordon at Cote 2000 where we skied the off piste and then skied all the way down to the bottom of the Chamois lift.    It was a beautiful afternoon and not many people around as they had all had to return to work.   Lucky for some!  Can't wait to get out there tomorrow.  Off to the Rond Point for dinner tonight with the new guests who have just arrived.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

#Megeve snow

It's dumping snow today.  I've got a lousy cold otherwise I would be out in it.   I love skiing in snow.  There's usually noone around, it's quiet and mysterious (mainly because you can't see where you're going).  I can always tell when it's snowing as the church bells are muffled.  Hopefully if I stay in today I'll be good to ski tomorrow in powder.   Because of all the skiers at New Year the pistes were looking a little worn so this will give them a huge boost.  Good news for those out on short breaks this weekend.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

#Megeve New Year's Eve

This is the whole family outside the Forestiere restaurant on Rochebrune yesterday.   As you can see, brilliant sunshine and snow.  From the left. Tommy and Emily (Elizabeth and John's children) me, John, Anna and Lizzie in the front (Caroline and Steve's children) Steve, Caroline, John and Elizabeth.  We skied in the morning with Elizabeth and John and another couple, doing the black runs, Voltigeurs, Bridans and Black Princess on Mont D'Arbois.  They were in good condition and noone skiing them.  We picked up the children from ski school and then went for lunch which was good. In the afternoon we skied with all the family.  It was a brilliant day.  In the evening we went to watch the torchlight parade of the ski instructors in the main square of  #Megeve, then after dinner in the Sylvana we had a party.  A guest had an extremely good compilation of music for dancing and singing and it was a great evening.  As John and I walked down the hill to our apartment the sky was lit up with fireworks.  What a wonderful way to end 2013.
Happy New Year to you all and see you in Megeve in 2014.